Will Tablets Enhance the In-Store Experience? - eMarketer

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Will Tablets Enhance the In-Store Experience?

Retailers introduce tablets in order to improve customer experience

May 23, 2014

A majority of omnichannel retailers are hoping they will, according to Q1 2014 research from the e-tailing group. Putting tablets in the store, whether in the hands of associates, as part of self-serve kiosks, or perhaps methods to pay, was the No. 1 way the retailers surveyed hoped to use technology to improve the shopping experience in physical stores.

Mobile Technologies that US Omnichannel Retailers Currently Employ* to Enhance the In-Store Experience, Q1 2014 (% of respondents)

Earlier research conducted in the UK by Conlumino found that 37.5% of multichannel retailers already had iPads in stores, while another 56.3% were planning on adding them soon.

Retailers have been looking to tablets to improve the in-store experience for a couple years now, but research on consumer attitudes toward their usage is hard to find. In an interview with eMarketer, Holly Devine, executive director of planning at Urban Outfitters, explained why the chain was focused on expanding usage of mobile points of sale in-store:

    We use mobile POS to get to customers wherever they might be in the store, and also during peak periods so customers don’t have to wait on a long line.

    We’ll also use the system as a way of servicing customers on the spot by, for example, finding merchandise in another color or size. That allows us to save the sale and make the best use of the inventory in the entire chain. It also allows customers who have been on our website to [see if a particular item is available at their local store]. Most of our stores in the US are fully integrated, and we’re converting the rest of our Canada and Europe stores now.

No waiting in line? Well, that could definitely enhance the in-store experience.

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